Melissa Mogollon, author of Oye, and Gabriella Burnham, author of Wait

Porter Square Books is thrilled to welcome Melissa Mogollon for the release of her debut novel Oye and Gabriella Burnham for the publication of Wait! This event will take place on Tuesday, June 11 at 7pm at Porter Square Books (25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140).

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A coming-of-age comedy. A telenovela-worthy drama. A moving family saga. All in a phone call you won’t want to hang up on.

“Yes, hi, Mari. It’s me. I’m over my tantrum now and calling you back . . . But first—you have to promise that you won’t tell Mom or Abue any of this. Okay? They’ll set the house on fire if they find out . . .”

Structured as a series of one-sided phone calls from our spunky, sarcastic narrator, Luciana, to her older sister, Mari, this wildly inventive debut “jump-starts your heart in the same way it piques your ear” (Xochitl Gonzalez). As the baby of her large Colombian American family, Luciana is usually relegated to the sidelines. But now she finds herself as the only voice of reason in the face of an unexpected crisis: A hurricane is heading straight for Miami, and her eccentric grandmother, Abue, is refusing to evacuate. Abue is so one-of-a-kind she’s basically in her own universe, and while she often drives Luciana nuts, they’re the only ones who truly understand each other. So when Abue, normally glamorous and full of life, receives a shocking medical diagnosis during the storm, Luciana’s world is upended.

When Abue moves into Luciana’s bedroom, their complicated bond intensifies. Luciana would rather be skating or sneaking out to meet girls, but Abue’s wild demands and unpredictable antics are a welcome distraction for Luciana from her misguided mother, absent sister, and uncertain future. Forced to step into the role of caretaker, translator, and keeper of the devastating family secrets that Abue begins to share, Luciana suddenly finds herself center stage, facing down adulthood—and rising to the occasion.

As Luciana chronicles the events of her disrupted senior year of high school over the phone to Mari, Oye unfolds like the most fascinating and entertaining conversation you’ve ever eavesdropped on: a rollicking, heartfelt, and utterly unique novel that celebrates the beauty revealed and resilience required when rewriting your own story.


“Fresh and wise, innovative and laugh-out-loud funny, warm and stylish, Oye is a propulsive delight full of verve and heart.”—Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of All This Could Be Different

“Brilliant . . . Melissa Mogollon did not come to play.”—Kiley Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age

“An emotional roller coaster of multigenerational chisme, Oye jump-starts your heart in the same way the expletive piques your ear.”—Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming

“By a dazzling new voice, this book is a funny and heartfelt exploration of growing up, resilience, sisterhood, and finding your path.”Electric Literature, “8 Books Featuring Columbian Protagonists”


A young woman reunites with her teenage sister in their childhood home on Nantucket Island after their mother disappears in this alluring coming-of-age novel from the acclaimed author of It Is Wood, It Is Stone.

Elise is out dancing the night before her college graduation when her younger sister, Sophie, calls to tell her that their mom is nowhere to be found. Elise leaves on the next flight back to her childhood home, Nantucket Island, for the first time in nearly four years.

The sisters soon learn that their mother was stopped by police on her way home from work and deported to São Paulo, Brazil. Intent on bringing her mother back, Elise stays and secures the same job she had in high school: monitoring endangered birds. Meanwhile, her best friend from college, Sheba—a gregarious socialite and heir to a famed children’s toy company—reveals that she has inherited her grandfather’s summer mansion on Nantucket. Elise’s worlds collide as she confronts the emotional and material conditions that have fractured her family, as well as the life in Brazil that her mother has had to leave behind.

Told with penetrating insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Wait is a story about a family swimming against the social currents that erode bonds: housing precarity, immigration systems, and inherited wealth. But it is also a story about love, wit, and sisterhood, and how two sisters cling to each other in the midst of cataclysmic change, all the while dreaming about a better future.


“A novel to remember.”—Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of All This Could Be Different

Wait is beautiful, heartfelt, and transcendent—a carefully crafted portrayal of motherhood, sisterhood, and friendship put to the ultimate test. I found myself caring deeply about these characters and wanting to know desperately what was going to happen to them next. Wait is also the best account of year-round Nantucket Island that I’ve ever read.”—Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award–winning author of In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and Travels with George

“Wise and richly layered, Wait is on one level a tender coming-of-age story set on the beautiful beaches of Nantucket, and on another a powerful inquiry into who gets to lay claim to American soil and call it home. Burnham’s nuanced exploration of friendship and sisterhood, inherited wealth and housing insecurity, birthright and disenfranchisement will stay with me. I could not put this book down and continued to think about it long after I emerged from its propulsive pages.”—Qian Julie Wang, author of Beautiful Country


Melissa Mogollon is a fiction writer and high school educator. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BA from the George Washington University. Originally from Colombia and raised in Florida, she now lives in Rhode Island with her partner and her dog.

Gabriella Burnham's debut novel, It Is Wood, It Is Stone, was named a best book of the year by Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Publishers Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She holds an MFA in creative writing from St. Joseph’s College and has been awarded fellowships to Yaddo and MacDowell, where she was named a Harris Center Fellow. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar. She and her partner live in Brooklyn, New York, with their two rescue cats, Galleta and Franz.

Event date: 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

Oye: A Novel By Melissa Mogollon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593594902
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Hogarth - May 14th, 2024

Wait: A Novel By Gabriella Burnham Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593596500
Availability: Available to Order from Supplier: Arrives at Store in a Week(ish)
Published: One World - May 21st, 2024


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